Vesak Day

International Service May 23, 2024

If you ask me what Vesak is, it's not an ordinary celebration. It doesn't have a special spirit apart from being a reminder of how good deeds and well-being help our lives. The true spirit of Vesak is not about offering lavish festivals or decorations. It's all about practicality, inner development of our souls and spirits, and polishing our actions, thoughts, and words to create a better persona, which creates a better tomorrow.

Not only that, as a genuine persona, Lord Buddha's teachings have many morals that we can apply to our lives. You might think many sutras and gathas are just recited phrases. But when starting from the meaning and translating their names, they have a much broader spirit. For example, the Thun Sutra, or the Three Main Sutras, is a collection of three Buddhist discourses that are considered sacred: Maha Mangala Sutra, Rathana Sutra, and Karaneeya Metta Sutra. These explanations contain moral acts and deeds that can mentor our lives. Also, the Singalovada Sutra explains our responsibilities towards others and theirs to us. So the doctrine is not only about self-development but also social development.

Speaking of how most of us behave these days with the continuous struggle to live our lives, we do almost everything unconsciously. We eat unconsciously; we drink unconsciously; we talk unconsciously. Although we claim to be conscious, we are completely unaware of the afflictions rampaging through our minds, influencing everything we do. Check for yourselves; experiment. This is how Buddha’s teachings work. They give you ideas that you can check out in your own experience to see if they're true or not. It's very down-to-earth; it’s not about something way up there in the sky. It's actually a very simple thing to try out, to find the better version of ourselves.

So it's all about shining both inside and out, enlightening the inner soul and the world around you. It is inadequate to limit this spirit to a single day. It's a process that brings out the best in us, which suits our daily work as university students and as normal human beings.

Hence, Vesak can be celebrated every day by being practical, mindful, and spirited.


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